by Agnese C.
Name: Enrico F.
Place of birth: Luras (SS)
Year of birth: 1949
Residence: Carbonia (SU)
Describe briefly your living conditions from childhood to retirement.
I come from a large family of 8 children, 4 boys and 4 girls. Until I was 8 years old I lived with an aunt and paternal uncle, and only weekly I met my family of origin. I attended school in Olbia until the 4th grade; from the 5th grade I returned to my family with my brothers, sisters and parents. I attended middle school in Calangianus, then in Tempio Pausania I studied accounting for five years.
I developed a very strong relationship with my aunt. I did not know my grandparents, but both my parents came from very large families, of 8 children also theirs, but both families had a certain economic well-being: my maternal grandfather was a notary, my paternal grandparents were landowners and cork merchants. I had a very strong bond with my father's family: four sisters of my father's, unmarried, were very well disposed towards us.
The years of my childhood were spent away from home, with two paternal uncles, which led to a certain detachment with my brothers, largely filled when I returned home at the age of 8. During the rest of the years I had new life experiences with another paternal aunt: I had my small room with her and I could receive my schoolmates to study with them.
I have always been considered more fortunate by my brothers, both for a greater autonomy compared to them, and for some extra facilities that I could have thanks to the availability of my aunt who raised me.
Tell us about your work and other activities you have practiced.
In my spare time I was able to carve out a large space for Catholic Action, I coached teams of boys for oratorial football tournaments; I attended a lot of the oratory life, we played table football, ping pong, we participated in theatrical comedies. Then I received the call for military service: I was in Trieste for over a year, on my return I enjoyed some rest and then I started working with my father in the factory. I almost immediately received a job offer in Carbonia: I started my career as an accountant in Esattoria (an activity that I continued until I retired) and I settled down with good ladies in Carbonia.
An interesting experience was the one with the AGESCI Scouts: they gave me, almost immediately, the responsibility of group leader in collaboration with a great priest friend of mine and a dear friend; they immediately made me scout leader, with the help of more experienced and mature leaders. At that juncture I was able to my future wife. Many of my most sincere friendships were born in that very environment, and were close to me all my life in Carbonia. As I mentioned earlier, I had the good fortune to establish a sincere friendship with a friend, a priest and scout leader, a figure who was a counselor and a brotherly friend to me until his departure for Rome, after so many years side by side following the boys.
And the meeting with his wife? The marriage?
Until marriage I lived half board with an old lady, whom I remember with great affection. In 1975 my wife and I decided to get married, after having finally managed to have a house of the IACP, the Istituto Autonomo delle Case Popolari, and to renovate it. A year after the wedding we had our first and only daughter. The conjugal relationship was very good, because of our difference in character my wife and I integrated each other; we bickered often, but we always remained very close. We liked to travel, and when the opportunity presented itself, we gave ourselves a trip that compensated for all the other events. I continued with my office work, and my wife had also found a job as an accountant at a wine merchant. We raised our daughter in the IACP house until she was ten years old, then in 1980 I started building the new house together with my wife's brother and after 6 years of work we finally managed to move into our house. It was years of sacrifice, but I always had a lot of help from relatives. Until now, my life can be considered satisfactory.
What were the intergenerational relationships in your family?
Relationships with the family of origin have always been very close; but there is also very direct contact with my wife's family. Before making important choices I always confronted myself with my parents and my aunts, the ones who raised me when I was a child. Both of them were always ready to come to me when I needed them, even when I was building my new house: they supported me with loans and donations.
The relationships with my parents were good, even if we were separated by a distance of kilometers; but three or four times a year we managed to get together in their house; after the wedding, every year they spent some time in Carbonia with me and my wife. My mother-in-law was alone because she was a widow, and a very strong filial relationship was established with her too, and she often joined us for some important outings. But when we came back everyone went back to their own home, she never lived with us. She died at the age of 75. My parents lived in the family home with my sister until the end.
At the same time I also had good relationships with my older colleagues who were able to advise me. There was also a good relationship with the scout leaders.
Please compare what you thought about old age when you were young, your expectations about life as a pensioner and how you really live now.
I have always had, since I was young, a lot of respect for the elderly and I imagined their old age: if they were healthy, I hypothesized that they could spend it peacefully in their own home, perhaps with the help of a family member; the hospice option has always left me puzzled, I consider it a hypothesis not to be considered, except in cases of absolute loneliness, for those people who have neither children nor friends.
As far as my pension is concerned, I hope to live in my home, if in good health, with my wife. I do not exclude living with my daughter's family, but in old age.
Please describe briefly your current living conditions and your daily habits.
The world of voluntary work has been my way of life since I was young: Catholic Action, football, scouts; I also did first aid and I am a blood donor. Today, when I was older and retired, the range of voluntary work has expanded even further and in addition to the usual commitments I have added collaboration with other associations, including the Pro Loco, the Association of the Third Age. Then among my commitments and hobbies there are gymnastics, dancing, theatre and educational trips that complete my days and those of my wife. The engagements and activities organized with the University of the Third Age give us the opportunity to get to know our region and to acquire new skills: I try to help the organization and I always make myself available for various jobs, both accounting and gardening or cleaning of environments. I hope to be able to do something in my old age. In the various associations of which I am a member, I have always had administrative or auditing assignments. I try to enjoy some peace of mind with my family, which consists of my wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandson, as well as extended family.
The environment of the Catholic Church is also congenial to me and helps me to be positive, completes my life, allows me to help people who are in difficulty. Basically I try to keep myself active, both physically and mentally, carrying on all these commitments between association, theater, leisure travel, social life in general: they are activities that fill my days.
What are your relationships with social media? Do you use them daily?
At the end of the day I always watch television, in particular I follow the news to keep myself informed. The mobile phone and the ability to send messages easily help me keep in touch with family and friends. The computer has become my pen, I also enjoy writing poetry in dialect.
What are the things that motivate you the most?
I think it is very important to keep in touch with family and friends, not to be selfish, to be physically and mentally active enough, to do gymnastics, good reading and travel.
What do you think is the main role of pensioners?
I believe that the pensioner plays an important role in society: he has to pass on the values of life to the new generations, and experience brings wisdom, fills the gaps that the state cannot fill. Moreover, volunteering at any level is a task that makes life more enjoyable and can be done whatever the financial status of the elderly person.
What is your message for the younger generation?
The message I feel like leaving to young people is: live today, prepare tomorrow; think about preparing a proper retirement and live life with enthusiasm and optimism, tomorrow will always be better. Thinking positive helps to overcome all obstacles, a smile doesn't cost anything, but it can help those who listen to us; small gestures of goodness and help towards others make life more beautiful, even the tip given to the gypsy who is always at the market or a fruit juice donated to the street vendor outside the supermarket doesn't cost much, but it can mean a lot to those who receive it.